At Home With Friends


With few exceptions, friends are no longer cooking, choosing to eat out or pick up something at one of Houston’s many takeout places.  While I enjoy getting out of the kitchen from time to time, I must confess to enjoying home cooked more than most prepared foods.  So does another friend, so once each week we share dinner at home, taking turns preparing the meal.  Not only does this give each of us a night off, but we thoroughly enjoy the time we and our hubbys spend together. 

Just as comfortable as our time together are our tables, nothing fancy just a simple setting.

Knowing how much I like bottles, a friend had brought these little ones, each filled with flowers that just happened to blend perfectly with the colors in the runner and the bottles that were already on the table.

So, for our casual dinner, all that had to be added were napkins, plates and cutlery.  How simple!

The napkin rings are wooden animal shapes that were purchased in Kenya.  They are always happy reminders of that trip.

With little effort, we are ready for our shared dinner.

This night we are having  Grace Young’s Stir Fried Shrimp with Rum.  Stir frying is one of my favorite methods of cooking, and as you can see my wok is much used!  What I like about stir frying is that it doesn’t require large quantities of anything, it is a simple  and healthy way to cook and the result is always tasty.

Stir Fried Shrimp with Rum

1 lb. large shrimp

Juice of 1/2 lime

3 T. ketchup

3 T. rum

2 t. soy sauce

1/4 t. ground white pepper

2 T. peanut or coconut oil

1 T. minced garlic

1 T. minced ginger

1/2 t. salt

1 tomato, cut into thin wedges

1 green pepper, cut into thin strips

1 onion, cut into thin wedges

1 T. finely chopped cilantro

Combine ketchup, rum, soy sauce and ground white pepper in a small bowl.

Heat wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1-2 seconds.  Swirl in the oil, add the garlic and ginger.  Stir fry 10 seconds or until the aromatics are fragrant.  Push the aromatics to the sides of the wok, add the shrimp evenly in one layer.  Cook undisturbed 1 minute.  Sprinkle with salt and stir fry until shrimp begins to turn orange.  Add tomatoes, bell pepper and onions and stir fry 1 minute or until the shrimp have turned almost totally orange.  Swirl the ketchup mixture into the wok and stir fry an additional minute.  Add cilantro.

Serve over rice for a 4 person  main course.  Enjoy!

For more tablescapes and recipes, visit

Let’s Dish

Tablescape Thursday

Thursday Favorite Things

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13 thoughts on “At Home With Friends

  1. What a lovely thing to do – to share a meal with friends. And I love prawns and stir frying too, and add rum is a new one to me, a must try, besides we always have a bottle in the cupboard 🙂

  2. Some of the best meals are shared with friends. Thank you for linking to the Thursday Favorite Things Hop. I appreciate your bloggy friendship xo

  3. Seriously, they don’t cook anymore? Interesting.
    I couldn’t stand to eat out or take out that often, A chef who would make what I request would be nice though! That and a cleaning lady and gardener! 🙂
    Your table looks very cozy!

  4. Now this sounds absolutely charming.. What a fun way to have a “date”.. Love your bottles and the dishes are perfect with the runner! The recipe is in my to try folder now cause it looks so scrumptious!

  5. Serendipity with your gifted bottles~ I love it when a plan comes together! Your shrimp stir fry sounds delicious and intriguing with the rum 🙂

  6. Your shrimp dish looks so yummy. And what a great idea to take weekly turns cooking. I miss doing that with my friends in Natchez when we still lived there but I take turns cooking with my daughter who lives next door…Christine

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